The Gym Is Dead, Part II: They Take Your Time.

From this day forth, “Under an Hour from Shoes to Shower” is your new fitness motto.

From the time you get up and strap on a pair of shoes in the morning till the time you hop in the shower to get ready for whatever hellish day awaits you, no more than an hour should have passed. If it’s more than that, you’re not going to be able to stick with it. Your workout needs to help your life, not eat into it. Which is another reason to ditch your gym membership YESTERDAY.

Cause how much time are you tossing away on the gym? Take stock next time you go–or think back to the last time you routinely went (or tried to go) to the gym. First you’ve got transportation. OK, if you walk there, you’re at least getting a warm-up. But if you drive there? Pure wasted time. Not to mention stress, and everyone knows that stress makes you fat. (If you live right next door to a nice gym, you’re probably making enough money that your fitness is not a disaster… not that we don’t have some good advice to squirrel away for when disaster strikes. And it will.)

But even before you walk out your door, you’re blowing time on the workout process, especially if you hit the gym on your way to work. Oh, my god, right? Packing for your entire day at five AM is shit. You have to remember everything you need: work stuff, fresh socks, yoga pants, supportive top, shampoo, conditioner, comb, towel, curling iron, face wash, and allllll the makeup–and get it into your bag. Don’t forget anything while you’re packing half-asleep either, it will ruin your day. That’s just the beginning, though. You have to do as much to your hair as pride requires just to go out of the house, then plan a work outfit that won’t wrinkle in your locker, then put it on. (Plus a giant obnoxious coat, hat, scarves, etc. if it’s winter. No wonder you get fat during winter.) Then take those clothes back OFF the moment you get to the gym, change into gym clothes (while politely working around the rest of the locker room crowd; manners take time, too), and get to class five or ten minutes early so those bitches won’t crowd you out or take all the weights you need.

Then you finally work out.

After that, you go to your locker, pick out all the stuff you need for the shower, and juggle it as you re-lock your locker. THEN, if your gym is like my old one used to be, you face the indignity of waiting, half-naked, just to take a damn shower. (Why do the girls at the front of the line think they’re the only people on earth? Who takes a 20-minute shower in public?) Dry off, pad back to your locker, somehow deal with the wet and smelly clothes you’ll have on you for the rest of the day, get dressed (for the third time already today, but who’s counting?), tug on your shoes, re-pack all your stuff, wait in line for blow dryers/makeup mirrors/the clothes steamer if your gym even has one…. oh, and don’t forget to put on your hat/gloves/coat/scarf, and make sure you don’t drop your keys out of your pockets while you’re at it!

Sure, these are first-world problems, but every one of them robs you of another moment of sleep or relaxation.

Exercise is supposed to be a way to DEAL WITH STRESS when your life is falling apart, not ADD MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF STRESS to a life that’s difficult enough as it as.

I mean, damn it, you could have used that extra two hours last night to watch Game of Thrones. Isn’t watching people get torn limb from limb therapeutic?

Well, there’s a way to accomplish that: clear out space for fitness at home.

An hour from shoes to shower.

You roll out of bed, snack and coffee and some luxurious reading time; then select a workout video, set your laptop down in front of your workout area, and put on your gym shoes. (Those are in fact optional, but more about that later.)

Pull out your mat and any necessary equipment. Work out for thiry to fifty minutes, throw your stuff back in the closet, shoes off, and boom.

It’s been less than an hour. You’re hitting the shower, enjoying your endorphin buzz, and thinking about who you need to get revenge on today.

Life is good.

Next: The Gym Is Dead Part III: Everyone’s Shitty Attitude Will Poison You.



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